Google Maps and Google Earth

How Do I Access Google Maps and Earth?

Google Earth is available as a free download for either Macs or Windows computers.

You need to log in to your Gmail account (either Hamilton or personal) in order to create, save and share Google Maps. If you use your Hamilton account, you can also create and share maps for group editing just like any other Google document. Please follow the steps at Accessing Google Maps via Your Hamilton Account.

What can I do with Google Maps/Earth?

See our page of sample student mapping projects; most of these use Google Maps or Google Earth.

See some examples of what you can do with “50 Things to do with Google Maps” or “50 MORE Things to do with Google Maps” (both from the blog Google Maps Mania).

How to put your data into Google Maps or Google Earth

Google Maps allows users to locate and place points onto a map and add photos, descriptions and links.  One can also upload an entire file of places and addresses (CSV, XLSX or KML) and select different base maps.  It's also easy to export maps as KMZ files and open up in Google Earth to create a tour.  All this and more is explained in their Help Guide (see also the complete list of online tutorials).

For projects requiring collaborative entry of data, you can use Spreadsheet Mapper to create layers for Google Maps or Earth. If you have a spreadsheet of locational data, you can also use Google Fusion Tables (not available with Google Apps for Education accounts).  Google Maps can be shared with other users (e.g., a class) just like any other document.

Some web services enable you to enter your data into a Google Map and display it on your website or create a link to it on the host's site (which may be necessary if you wish to share the map more broadly than the Hamilton community):

  • Plug-and-Play Maps “lets you create engaging, interactive thematic maps in your web pages with 1 short line of code.”
  • ZeeMaps enables you to create maps with your own locational data (including uploading an Excel file, for example for a large number of addresses).
  • Maptive has a nice user interface for entering data with several options for displaying the maps in your website.
  • MapAList will map from Google spreadsheets or forms.

If you have a large number of addresses that need to be validated, you can use Batch Geocode, which can produce a file for either Google Maps or Google Earth.  For just a few addresses, try this lat-long converter.

Google Earth has a fantastic User Guide which will show you not only how to use GE but also how to create your own layers of interesting places.

There is actually more than one blog dedicated to Google Maps and Google Earth. Who knew?

Google Maps Blog
Google Maps Mania
Google Earth Community Forums
Google Earth Blog


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Last updated: July 3, 2019

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